Give thanks? In the middle of a pandemic? When uncertainty seems to be the only certainty?
It may seem counterintuitive, but yes! A simple change in mindset could help you navigate this challenging time in positive ways, no matter how difficult things get.
Take it from mental health specialist Karen Brimeyer, LMFT at Synchronous Health: “It’s become a habit to look at the negative when living in a world filled with so much uncertainty and frustration,” she says. “Negativity is a habit. But the good news: So is gratitude!”
Studies show that practicing gratitude not only positively impacts your well-being and outlook on life in general, it can also lower your stress level and improve your sleep. In fact, spending just 5 minutes a day jotting down things you’re grateful for can increase your long-term well-being by more than 10%, in essence a doubled return on your investment!
But like any habit, cultivating gratitude takes a little practice. Often, it’s the seemingly simple practices that have the biggest results. Here are 3 simple ways to embrace an attitude of gratitude in your daily life:
Breathe and meditate. Intentional, focused breathing has a way of bringing us to a place of awareness of just how precious life is. This posture naturally helps us focus on the good things that have happened and are happening, which yields gratitude – a subtle yet truly powerful practice when we go for it with intention. There are a variety of apps, including Headspace, Calm and Insight Timer, that offer breathing exercises for you to try.
Name 3 things you’re grateful for. At the end of each day (or first thing each morning), name least three things you’re grateful for. It could be as simple as a call from a friend. It doesn’t matter what those things are because what we are trying to do is to build a habit of gratitude. Write them down, say them out loud, or try a combination. The goal is to make it a habit, and that takes time and intention. You can do it!
Tell someone you’re grateful for them. Giving thanks has the power to change someone’s mood for the better; it’s a gift for the receiver as well as the giver. Regardless of who – a family member, friend, colleague, cashier, postal worker or delivery driver – try giving someone an intentional “thank you” today. And if you can’t do it in person, call, text or email. You won’t regret it.
Need additional support cultivating gratitude or navigating the season you’re in? The Synchronous Health team through our Connect with Karla program is ready to help. To learn more and connect with a specialist via telehealth, visit: sync.health/mnps or call 615-748-0625.
Positive Psychology (2020). The Research On Gratitude And Its Link With Love And Happiness.
Forbes (2020). 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Gratitude That Will Motivate You To Give Thanks Year-Round.
Happier Human (2020). 31 Benefits Of Gratitude: The Ultimate Science-Backed Guide.